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The Political Hat
News of the Week


Obamacare


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Canada: Woman dies waiting in ER as AG finds little movement
It’s no surprise to Thelma Lee that emergency room wait times are not meeting provincial targets.
Lee said her 41-year-old daughter, Marlene Stephens, died Saturday after waiting nearly 90 minutes at the William Osler Health Centre’s Etobicoke campus emergency room with breathing problems.

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Rep. Cantor: Popular parts of health law will be tackled in GOP repeal plan
By Christina Wilkie
House Republicans are looking to repeal the healthcare reform law and replace it with one of their own early next year without interrupting two popular parts the administration has already begun to implement.

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Doctors say Medicare cuts force painful decision about elderly patients
By N.C. Aizenman, Washington Post Staff Writer
Want an appointment with kidney specialist Adam Weinstein of Easton, Md.? If you're a senior covered by Medicare, the wait is eight weeks.

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Why docs are running from Medicare
My Medicare patients -- and those who'll soon qualify -- are worried. Will the doctors they're used to seeing still be able to take care of them when big cuts in Medicare payments are constantly hanging overhead?

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Sen. Mark Warner – More Power to Death Panels?
http://bearingdrift.com/2010/11/23/sen-mark-warner-more-power-to-death-panels

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Climategate

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Deciding Who Lives and Who Dies
By Kathryn Jean Lopez     
Belgium, which already has a permissive euthanasia law, issues a “wrongful life” ruling in the case of a child born with a disability.

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House climate panel to be axed
Ed Markey is giving witnesses a chance to warn of climate change before reps like Jim Sensenbrenner take action. | AP Photo Close
By ROBIN BRAVENDER
House Republicans will scrap the committee set up by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to investigate global warming, the panel’s top Republican announced Wednesday.

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Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in developed world
Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Second World War-style rationing in rich countries to bring down carbon emissions.

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Climate Experts Discover Finland's Medieval Warming Was Longer & Hotter Than Modern "Unprecedented" Warming

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Bolivia assails rich, carbon market at Cancun talks
(Reuters) - Bolivia, among the strongest opponents of the Copenhagen climate accord last year, assailed rich nations at Cancun climate talks on Tuesday but stopped short of threatening to disrupt the two-week conference.

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Schwarzenegger wants plastic bag ban proposal revived
By David Siders, Sacramento Bee
Giving new life to a defeated bid to ban plastic grocery store bags, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged lawmakers Monday to reconsider the measure.


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War & Terror

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Pakistani anti-Taliban militias offer lessons for U.S. in Afghanistan    
By Karin Brulliard, Washington Post Staff Writer
MATANAI, PAKISTAN - In this village within miles of the Afghan border, Noor Malik is struggling to keep his pro-government tribal militia alive.

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WikiLeaks Ready to Release Giant 'Insurance' File if Shut Down

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Leaked dispatches show Beijing is frustrated with military actions of 'spoiled child' and increasingly favours reunified Korea

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Review of the TSA X-ray backscatter body scanner safety report: hide your kids, hide your wife

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UCLA researcher says he won't be deterred by animal activists' attacks
After the latest incident, in which he received a letter containing razor blades and threats that his throat would be cut, J. David Jentsch says he isn't intimidated. 'This is the work I feel morally obligated to do,' he says.

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Next step for body scanners could be trains, boats, metro
By Jordy Yager
The next step in tightened security could be on U.S. public transportation, trains and boats.

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North Korea fires artillery barrage on South
by Jung Ha-Won
SEOUL (AFP) – North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing one person, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South's military went on top alert.

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TSA pat-down leaves traveler covered in urine
'I was absolutely humiliated,' said bladder cancer survivor

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Perry says consider military in Mexico
GOP Gov. Rick Perry, who continues to insist he's not interested in the presidency, is nevertheless always ready to tell the federal government how to do a better job on such matters as border security — including indicating the U.S. should be open to sending military into Mexico to help fight the drug war.



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National

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New parties registered to muddy political waters
In an effort to mislead voters — or mock the system — Nevada political operatives find little resistance in forming parties

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Senate fails on repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell' included in defense authorization bill
By Roxana Tiron
The Senate on Thursday dealt a severe blow to the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law, dimming the chances for the Clinton-era ban to be scrapped this year.

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Five-Time Father Ted Turner Calls for One-Child Policy
By Kenneth P. Green
Here’s yet another one for the climate-hypocrisy file. In Cancun, at the ongoing climate talks, Buffalo (and Jane Fonda) lover Ted Turner opined that the world needs a “one-child” policy, like China’s.

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FCC push to regulate news draws fire
By Sara Jerome
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) pushed back on Monday against a contention by a Democratic FCC commissioner that the government should create new regulations to promote diversity in news programming.

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Ninth Circuit Oral Argument in Prop 8 Appeal: Some Observations
By Ed Whelan 
I missed most of the first half-hour of the oral argument (on standing), so, subject to that limitation, I’ll offer a few quick observations

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The Pigford Shakedown: How the Black Farmers’ Cause Was Hijacked by Politicians, Trial Lawyers & Community Organizers — Leaving Us With a Billion Dollar Tab

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Just weeks after 2010 election, Republicans lining up for 2012 Senate races
By Chris Cillizza, Washington Post Staff Writer
The 2012 presidential race may be off to a slow start - not a single Republican has announced his (or her) intentions to run - but aspiring GOP pols are falling all over themselves to get into Senate races nationwide.

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The GOP’s California Blues
What explains the ‘reverse tsunami?’
By FRED BARNES
The election in California didn’t turn out as poorly as you might think. An $18 car fee, the proceeds going to spruce up parks, was voted down. So was an attempt to repeal a string of tax breaks for business. Limits on user fees, often described as “hidden taxes,” were approved. And legalization of marijuana was soundly defeated.

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Schwarzenegger Proposes $9.9B In Cuts

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Herman Cain: 2012 exploratory committee could come soon
By Alex Pappas--The Daily Caller
Former Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain signaled on Fox News that he could start taking formal steps to run for president in 2012 in the near future.

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Wanted: ‘Rock-star leader’ for Nevada Republican Party
To capitalize on 2010 successes, experts say a champion must emerge

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Organ Wagons To Make House Calls
MYFOXNY.COM - It might sound a little disturbing to some people but a new pilot program will attempt to recover kidneys from people who die at home in Manhattan.

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Partisan Trends
Partisan Trends: Republicans 36.0%, Democrats 34.7%, First GOP Lead Ever

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House May Block Food Safety Bill Over Senate Error
By John Stanton, Roll Call Staff
A food safety bill that has burned up precious days of the Senate’s lame-duck session appears headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House.

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Dark Jupiter May Haunt Edge of Solar System

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Senator On Lame Duck Session: "It's All Rigged"
A hot microphone caught a conversation between a male and female Senator.
"Because -- because, it's all rigged. I mean, the whole conversation is rigged. The fact that we don't get to discussion before the break about what we're going to do in the lame duck is just rigged. This stuff's rigged," the Senator said.

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New Jersey man serving 7 years for guns he owned legally
By JASON NARK, Philadelphia Daily News
EVERYTHING Brian Aitken was or had worked for was wiped away one winter afternoon after his mother called the police on him.

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Advice: GOP should pursue Asian-American vote
Becky Yeh - OneNewsNow California correspondent
A political expert is advising California Republicans to consider winning over one particular minority group in future elections if they want to see a greater number backing the GOP.

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Brian Sandoval sticking by ‘no-new-taxes’ pledge

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Stonewall's 'coming out' data falls into statistical trap
Gay rights group's survey suffers from a blind spot on age

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Rep. Heller Urges House To Restore Geothermal Royalties To Local Counties
By Nevada News Bureau Staff
Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., today urged his colleagues to ensure that any Continuing Resolutions passed by the House include provisions to restore geothermal royalties to local counties.

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Senate Republicans dig in heels during lame duck on DADT, DREAM Act, UI, START treaty
By Jon Ward - The Daily Caller
Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday dug in their heels against doing anything more than passing an extension of the Bush era tax cuts and a continuing resolution to keep funding the federal government before heading home for Christmas.

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2 of 3 Judges in Prop 8 Case Appointed by Dems
By Staff, Associated Press
San Francisco (AP) - A liberal jurist is among three judges randomly selected by a federal appeals court to decide if a lower court improperly struck down California's same-sex marriage ban.

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Maine Mystery: Snowe Tea Party Rival?
By Steve Peoples, Roll Call Staff
There is a budding mystery along the northern border, where a local tea party leader insists a credible challenger has emerged to attack Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe from the right.

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Stem-Cell Fraud
Science: Supporters of California's failed 2004 stem-cell law will ask strapped taxpayers to support another $3 billion bond initiative in 2014. Maybe it's time to restore fiscal sanity as well as science to its rightful place.

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Latino leaders swirl around idea of Tequila Party
Latino leaders in Nevada and nationwide are quietly debating whether to sever their traditional Democratic ties and form an independent grass-roots political group.

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Homeland Security seizes domain names
By Sara Jerome
The investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department appears to be shutting down websites that facilitate copyright infringement.

U.S. Government Seizes BitTorrent Search Engine Domain and More
Written by enigmax
Following on the heels of this week’s domain seizure of a large hiphop file-sharing links forum, it’s clear today that the U.S. Government has been very busy. Without any need for COICA, ICE has just seized the domain of a BitTorrent meta-search engine along with those belonging to other music linking sites and several others which appear to be connected to physical counterfeit goods.

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This time around, Nevada will matter    
By: CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
(CNN) - In the battle for the last GOP presidential nomination, Nevada was an afterthought. But a new move by Nevada Republicans should make the state a player in the next race for the White House.

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Barbara Bush: Housekeeper put fetus in jar
By Matt DeLong
During an interview with CNN's Larry King that aired Monday, former first lady Barbara Bush elaborated on the miscarriage anecdote that her son George W. Bush told in his book, "Decision Points." Barbara Bush said it was the housekeeper who put the fetus into a jar and handed it to George, not her.

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DeLay convicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges
By Bridget Johnson
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was found guilty Wednesday on money laundering and conspiracy charges.

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Is Marriage Just Evolving?
By David and Amber Lapp
Are the headlines right? Do Americans really think marriage is becoming obsolete? And does this trend simply show how the concept of family is evolving to include many different arrangements?

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University Speech Codes, Reborn As “Anti-Bullying” Rules?

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Joe Lieberman left with limited 2012 options
By MOLLY BALL
Joe Lieberman essentially has two options for 2012: Retire or become a Republican.

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Students campaign for alternative hummus

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Republicans' 2012 dark horse still has no name
By Chris Cillizza, Washington Post Staff Writer
Everyone loves a dark horse. And that goes double when it comes to presidential politics.

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George Soros crony John Podesta calls on Obama to use “armed forces” to push left wing agenda

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Constitutional Amendment proposal to streamline leglislative repeals to hit Congress soon

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Judge Orders Cops to Stop Harassing Superheroes

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NY Dems Pull Voting Machines Out Of The Trunk In State Senate Race
We all have heard of ballots being found in the trunks of cars, and elsewhere during recounts.  In a hotly contested race for the State Senate in New York, Democrats have gone one better, and found two new (and uncounted) voting machines.

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Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee

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Citizens picked to draw political boundaries
State officials Thursday selected a handful of everyday Californians to tackle the politically incendiary task of redrawing the state's voting districts -- a job that voters decided to take away from political insiders.

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Buyer’s Remorse
Republican gubernatorial victors of 2010 ran hard on a promise to slash their states’ budgets. Good luck!
by Reid Wilson
SAN DIEGO—The Republican governors elected in the class of 2010 are supposed to be white knights, riding in to save states slammed by serious budget deficits and struggling economies. But the metaphor should be taken with a heaping dose of skepticism: The same thing, after all, was said of the Democratic governors elected in 2006. And many of those Democrats—Ohio’s Ted Strickland, Iowa’s Chet Culver, Colorado’s Bill Ritter—are now looking for new jobs.

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Sources: FCC chief working on net neutrality proposal

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’12 Senate Battles on Democratic Turf
By Roll Call Staff
An early look at the 2012 landscape shows Democratic incumbents are the most vulnerable heading into the next cycle, with double the number of Democrats on the ballot as Republicans.



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Economy & Taxes

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Ron Paul, Author of `End the Fed,' to Lead Panel Overseeing Central Bank
By Phil Mattingly(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Representative Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, talks about the Federal Reserve's response to the financial crisis and the bank's that borrowed from the Fed's Term Auction Facility. Paul speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)
Representative Ron Paul, Texas Republican and author of “End the Fed,” will take control of the House subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve.

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What Does It Look Like to Leave the Euro?
The Economist has an excellent piece this week outlining just how difficult it would be to leave the euro.  Bank runs, capital controls, angry voters, and where, exactly do you get currency for people to use? 

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Is China the Next Bubble?
Some people think so, and the evidence seems to be mounting.

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Where Have All The Capitalists Gone?
By RICHARD M. SALSMAN
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and dissolution of the USSR two decades ago, almost everyone, including famed leftists like Robert Heilbroner, conceded that capitalism was the historic “victor” over socialism. Yet interventionist policies reflecting largely socialist premises have returned with a vengeance in recent years, while capitalism has been blamed for causing the 2007-2009 financial crisis and global economic recession.

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Is China ginning up its GDP data?
Is China one giant Enron? Well, maybe not. Clearly, there is real growth going on there. But this does seem fishy:
China’s GDP figures are “man-made” and therefore unreliable, the mn who is expected to be the country’s next head of government said in 2007, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

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How to Balance the Budget Without Raising Taxes
The 19 Percent Solution

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Schwarzenegger to declare fiscal emergency
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled to welcome the new Legislature on Monday by declaring a fiscal emergency and ordering it into a special session.

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Obama Signs Bill Averting Government Shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed legislation that keeps the government running and averts a shutdown that could have happened this weekend.

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US Ready to Back Bigger EU Stability Fund: Official
The United States would be ready to support the extension of the European Financial Stability Facility via an extra commitment of money from the International Monetary Fund, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday.

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Is the Euro Dead? No, But It's Pining for the Fjords . . .
Today brought the news that the crisis in the eurozone may be spreading beyond Spain to Italy and even Belgium.  The Euro has slipped below $1.30; as recently as November 5th, it was at $1.40.  Meanwhile, debt spreads between Germany's debt and the weaker members are widening.

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Strong showing in anti-earmark vote
Thirty-nine senators voted Tuesday in support of a three-year moratorium on appropriations earmarks, the strongest showing ever by opponents of the current process and a potential game changer in the year-end budget debate.

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Drew Sandholm
Faced with "almost terminal problems," Dennis Gartman on Monday said the euro could soon unravel.

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Inflation in China is depreciating the Yuan
Over the most recently reported two months, the CPI-adjusted (inflation adjusted) real exchange rate of the yuan has been appreciating relative to the dollar at about a 13 percent annual rate. That would be enough to eliminate the estimated 20 to 40 percent undervaluation of the yuan in less than three.

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For Tottering States, Bankruptcy Could Be the Answer
Michael Barone
We won't be able to say we weren't warned. Continued huge federal budget deficits will eventually mean huge increases in government borrowing costs, Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of Barack Obama's deficit reduction commission, predicted this month. "The markets will come. They will be swift, and they will be severe, and this country will never be the same."

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California’s Real Fantasyland
Meredith Turney
In 1955, Walt Disney opened his first amusement park in Anaheim, California. Disneyland has become the most successful amusement park in the world, with an estimated 600 million visitors since it first opened its gates 55 years ago. One of the most popular parts of the park is Fantasyland. Children and adults alike are dazzled by whimsical rides stretching the imagination, envisioning a blissfully perfect world.

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The Triumphant Return of Hayek

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Financial Scandal’s Link to the New Deal
G-men – FBI, SEC – are in the act of swooping down. “A three-year insider-trading investigation shifted into high gear [yesterday] as government agents raided the offices of three large hedge funds, sending shock waves through the financial world,” the Wall Street Journal reported this morning. Rumor is this might be the big one. To quote the movie The Sting, they must be after “some big New York wheel” – if not a few dozen of them.

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Federal Reserve May Be `Central Bank of the World' After UBS, Barclays Aid
By Bradley Keoun and Hugh Son
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Representative Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, talks about the Federal Reserve's response to the financial crisis and the bank's that borrowed from the Fed's Term Auction Facility. Paul speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)
Federal Reserve data showing UBS AG and Barclays Plc ranked among the top users of $3.3 trillion from emergency programs is stoking debate on whether U.S. regulators bear responsibility for aiding other nations’ banks.

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By Jeremy Pelzer
CHEYENNE--During Al Simpson's nearly 50 years in government, he hasn't been afraid to take on critics and naysayers of his work in the U.S. Senate or on a variety of high-profile commissions and committees

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By Neil Irwin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Unemployment is set to remain higher for longer than previously thought, according to new projections from the Federal Reserve that would mean more than 10 million Americans remain jobless through the 2012 elections - even as a separate report shows corporate profits reaching their highest levels ever.

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Cost of the Debt Drives Long-Term Spending Explosion

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Debt commission co-chair says upcoming debt limit ‘bloodbath’ will force action on recommendations
A co-chairman of President Obama’s debt commission said Friday that a fast-approaching congressional vote on whether to raise the government’s debt limit will cause a political “bloodbath” that will force lawmakers to take their recommendations seriously, regardless of whether their panel produces a consensus product.



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International

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Students attack Prince Charles' car after fee hike
LONDON – Furious student protesters attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, vandalized buildings and battled riot police Thursday as a controversial hike in university fees triggered Britain's worst political violence in years.

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Spain squashes the right to strike
The Spanish government's use of the 'state of alarm' to force down striking air traffic controllers sets a troubling precedent

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Japanese robot can pick strawberries based on color
The Beatles would have a field day with this one: A Japanese robot can harvest ripe strawberries.

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Yodelling offends praying Muslims, say judges
An Austrian has been fined for yodelling while mowing his lawn, according to a report.

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Bolivia Lectures U.S. on Democracy. What?
Bolivian President Evo Morales delivered a blunt rebuke of the United States at a regional defense conference while U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates sat in the audience.

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Turkish president downplays suspension of generals
The suspension of three senior military officers by two government ministers for alleged involvement in the Sledgehammer coup case should not be exaggerated, President Abdullah Gül said Thursday.

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The English Tea Partier

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It's fine to call Eurosceptics Nazis, but woe betide them if they return the insult
By Daniel Hannan
Godfrey Bloom was thrown out of the chamber of the European Parliament today after being gratuitously rude to the Euro-Socialist leader, Martin Schulz. Irked by Shulz’s complaint that the UK was standing in the way of European integration, the UKIP MEP burst out “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!” There are times when British Eurosceptics cringe at the behaviour of one of their countrymen, and this was one of them.

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Report: ‘Issues of Culture, Ethnicity and Identity’ Raised in U.K. Rape-Gang Case
A report on the sexual exploitation of British girls as young as 12 by a gang led by two 28-year-old Muslim men found that cultural issues were “a critical factor in making [the victims] easy targets for abusers.”

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Castro Says Tea Party Leading U.S. to 'Fascism'


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Opinion

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Are Conservatives Allowed to Amend the Constitution?
Damon W. Root
Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick and historian Jeff Shesol published an article on Friday criticizing the Repeal Amendment—which would allow the states to repeal federal laws or regulations if two-thirds of the states so voted—as evidence of a “conservative mission to destroy the Constitution in order to save it.” The piece rests largely on the authors’ claim that “Traditionally (and what is conservatism if not respect for tradition?) conservatives have railed against ‘Constitutional tinkering,’ while progressives have proposed all manner of amendments—some successful (women’s suffrage), others not (equal rights for women).” In other words, any conservative that supports the amendment is a hypocrite.

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I don’t care (right now) about WHO the next President is; I care about WHAT the next President is.

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Obamanomics: Only fat cats prosper
Charles Gasparino
For all of President Obama's rhetoric about "fat cat" investment bankers who gambled the country into economic decay, he sure seems to have a larger soft spot for big Wall Street than for average Americans.

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Gingrich: ‘Replace the Left’

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Mexico should call in the Marines   
By Edward Schumacher-Matos
National pride is a good thing - until the water reaches your chin and your nation is still sinking. Mexico is not in that deep yet, but parts of the country are. Seven criminal cartels effectively control most cities and the drug trafficking lanes near the U.S. border, as well as their bases and production centers in the interior.

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The UK will go bust by 2019, according to our new report, On Borrowed Time

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The Germans restore fear
Once again, it’s those Germans displaying good common sense in the post-financial crisis world. Legislation is now being put together there to ensure bank bondholders take losses when a bank fails, rather than the state. In other words, no government bail outs.

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Europe steeps its TEA
Posted by Neil Stevens
Foreign politics are a tricky subject. While the broad strokes of politics can generally be understood the world over, when traditionalists battle leftists, and small government folk take on both, every country has its own exceptions, its own cultural taboos, and other factors that make it unique.

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Government By Executive Order
A new Labor Department plan shows the president still has wide power to implement an anti-business agenda.

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A Select Committee for Termination
Putting a global warming panel out of business.

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Create jobs by bringing in immigrants
By Katrina Trinko
Mark your calendars: In about 1,500 days, normal life returns. In around 48 months of mortgage payments and credit card bills, of buying groceries and gas, economic prosperity is scheduled to make a comeback.

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In Praise of the Americans

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Government By Waiver: The Breakdown Of Public Administration

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The 25 Best Quotes About Liberals

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Why the Government Should Stay Out of Green Energy
by Brian Sussman
In the realm of solar power, there has never been more fanfare for a startup than in the case of Solyndra.  Founded in 2005, the company’s rooftop-mounted solar panels were immediately touted as “the next big thing” in alternative energy.

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TSA has met the enemy _ and they are us

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Groping toward Gomorrah
The Transportation Security Administration knows with 100 percent certainty that John Tyner, the 31-year-old Oceanside man who refused to submit to one of those embarrassing body scans or be searched by TSA groin-grabbers during his recent attempt to fly from San Diego to South Dakota, poses no security threat to the United States or anywhere else. He is not a terrorist, just a citizen frustrated by the growing intrusiveness of TSA screening procedures.

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Libertarianism is dictatorial collectivism. And freedom is slavery

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The Great TSA "My Ding-a-Ling" Sing-Along!

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Strangling innovation with red tape   
By Morris Panner
As a Democrat whose politics are undeniably liberal on social issues, I lamented the outcome of the midterm elections. But as an entrepreneur with two software start-ups under my belt, I couldn't help but celebrate - and more than a little. As the fall campaigns wore on, I had found myself listening closely to the Tea Party, nursing the hope that its message would push both major parties to change the way they do business.

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